I just can’t warp my brain in the way required to be a good atheist, I’m afraid. R. Joseph Hoffman is doing his usual schtick of whining about those philistine New Atheists, and this time his point is that we’ve diminished atheism and turned it into a “little idea” instead of the grand powerful concept it ought to be. And how did we do that? By not giving enough credit to a god.
When did atheism cease to be a big idea? When atheists made God a little idea. When its idea of god shriveled to become a postulate of a new intellectual Darwinism. When they began to identify unbelief with being a woman, a gay, a lesbian, or some other victimized cadre. When they decided that religion is best described as a malicious and retardant cultural force that connives to prevent us being the Alpha Race of super-intelligences and wholly equal beings that nature has in store for us. When they elevated naturalism, already an outmoded view of the universe, to a cause, at the expense of authentic imagination.
Atheism has become a little idea because it is based on the hobgoblin theory of religion: its god is a green elf with a stick, not the master of the universe who controls it with his omniscient will. –Let alone a God so powerful that this will could evolve into Nature’s God–the god of Jefferson and Paine–and then into the laws of nature, as it did before the end of the eighteenth century in learned discussion and debate.
What a load of jaw-droppingly stupid bollocks.
Atheists believe god is non-existent — you can’t make it much smaller than that. If you’re postulating a grand great god while proclaiming your atheism, you’re doing one or the other wrong.
There is no requirement to be a lesbian to be an atheist (there are a lot of us who’d be very surprised to discover that the people he later names as prominent are all gay or lesbian minorities). But there is an appreciation that you don’t have to be an old white heterosexual guy to benefit from reason and science and liberation from old superstitions.
I don’t believe atheists are an “Alpha Race of super-intelligences”, or that they are becoming such. Atheists are just people…people who’ve shed a parasite.
Naturalism is outmoded? Hoffman doesn’t get out much, I guess.
I have an interesting mental picture now of who R. Joseph Hoffman regards as a good atheist: it’s an old white heterosexual guy (so far I qualify!) who thinks god is all-powerful and that religion is a useful way to understand the universe. Poor Hoffman. He’s searching for a paradox, so I think he’s going to be a frustrated crank the rest of his life, as he watches a logically consistent form of atheism overwhelm his impossible ideal.